Attack dogs can get carried away and turn on their handlers, the Republican campaign now seems to be learning, as open warfare breaks out in anonymous diatribes.
McCain advisers, CNN reports, are becoming "increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin 'going rogue'" while her people are complaining about what they feel was "a damaging and mismanaged roll-out."
According to McCain sources, "Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls--recorded messages often used to attack a candidate's opponent--'irritating' even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign's decision to pull out of Michigan."
McCain aides tell Politico Palin was "simply unready--'green,' sloppy and incomprehensibly willing to criticize McCain for, for instance, not attacking Sen. Barack Obama for his relationship with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright."
The rift seems to go beyond the usual friction in a losing campaign. "She is a diva," a McCain adviser complains. "She takes no advice from anyone. She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else."
The generation gap in the ticket is fast becoming a chasm, as the McCain people see his last chance fading fast and the Palin supporters start looking for excuses and positioning their candidate for the future. If the ugliness grows, they may all lose their credibility.